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Re: bats & battalions (was Benton and Kinman)



<Okay, Linné was a good man, had a vision, was a genius. In the time and
age, it was a break through. Time moves on. We see life as anagenic, not
static. Classification schema and methods must change as a result, because
the old ways, the traditional ways, are only preserving the asbestos and
lead buildings of the past. They are condemned. Let them die.>

The older system, revised for evolution, but still sturdily built on
observation and description and analysis is more steadfastly held than you
imply.

This appropriate devotion would continue even if the field were to be won by
cladistics, with stubbornness similar to that described by Plutarch when the
Gauls under Brennus occupied Rome:
But the priests... and the most elderly of the senators, men who had been
consuls and had enjoyed triumphs, could not endure to leave the city; but,
putting on their sacred and splendid robes, ...and, devoting themselves ...
for their country, sat   themselves down in their ivory chairs in the forum,
and in that posture expected the event.  ...
Brennus, having taken possession of Rome, set a strong guard about the
Capitol, and, going himself down into the forum, was there struck with
amazement at the sight of so many men sitting in that order and silence,
observing that they neither rose at his coming, nor so much as changed color
or countenance, but remained without fear or concern, leaning upon their
staves, and sitting quietly, looking at each other.
The Gauls, for a great while, stood wondering at the strangeness of the
sight not daring to approach or touch them, taking them for an assembly of
superior beings. But when one, bolder than the rest, drew near to Marcus
Papirius, and, putting forth his hand, gently touched his chin and stroked
his long beard, Papirius with his staff struck him a severe blow on the
head; upon which the barbarian drew his sword ... [It ended badly.]  [They]
went on to sacking and pillaging the houses [and redefining terminology],
which they continued for many days ensuing...

Where're Tim and his gladius when you need them?


As an architect of the new system, how would you build on the shifting
foundation of logical inference to stand as well as a system built on real,
obvious distinctions and differences?

One possibility is that the two systems will operate parallel for a while,
with followers of the Linnaean system confident as the Romans were shown to
be in another story.  When Hannibal's conquering army stood outside Rome and
called for its surrender, the Romans auctioned off the land on which the
occupiers stood.  The owners got a good price for it...
And the threat did in fact recede.

Yes, the Romans built with lead pipes.  Didn't stop 'em for a few hundred
years, though.